top of page


Based in Philadelphia, the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra was established as a model for the 21st-century American orchestra.  Described by the Philadelphia Inquirer as “first-class on every level,” Black Pearl's musicians have been trained at leading music conservatories around the globe including the Curtis Institute, the Juilliard School, and the Peabody Institute among others.   Founded by award-winning Artistic Director Jeri Lynne Johnson, Black Pearl’s mission is to transform the orchestra from the gatekeeper to an artistic product into a facilitator of the creative process for the entire community. Black Pearl's concert programming connects countries, cultures and communities in exciting ways.   In recognition of its world-class performance quality, Black Pearl has received numerous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.  And Maestro Johnson's innovative projects have made Black Pearl the only organization in the country to have been awarded three prestigious Knight Arts Challenge grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.  

Through its groundbreaking engagement programs and collaborative partnerships with the city's most prominent education and cultural institutions, Black Pearl has become a nationally-recognized leader in building audiences for classical music by enchanting newcomers and aficionados alike. Black Pearl is proof that when the arts deeply engage a community, that community will enthusiastically participate in the arts!


Jeri Lynne Johnson is the Founding Artistic Director of Black Pearl.  In 2005 she made history as the first African-American woman to win an international conducting prize when she was awarded the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship


Black Pearl's unique "InReach" activities offer audiences unparalleled access to the orchestra through hands-on activities, open rehearsals, and opportunities to work directly with the musicians and conductor.  

Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra's diverse group of Board members, donors, grantors and artistic partners are an important feature of Black Pearl's success in bridging cultures and connecting communities through the arts.

bottom of page